An attempt by an anti-gay group to ruin a formal for LGBTI youth has spectacularly backfired after the funds raised in the aftermath of the hate campaign have garnered enough money to make the formal free for all students.
Last week the Facebook page ‘Stop Safe Schools Coalition’ posted some hateful BS encouraging people to buy (cheaper more affordable) tickets to the upcoming LGBTI formal, by youth organisation Minus18, in order to prevent young people from attending the evening. “The more tickets sold to us, the more youth we protect,” the group says on the page.
Pure fucking evil.
But since then, social media responded by donating to the event instead; sponsoring kids’ tickets to the formal that otherwise couldn’t afford to attend. Donations to the LGBTI youth formal have predictably skyrocketed, surpassing the price of all the tickets and organisers are now are looking at making the event free for all.
“$20,000 dollars means 500 tickets sponsored. It’s quite a lot!” said Minus18 CEO Micah Scott to BuzzFeed News. “We’re exploring opening the event up to be free for every single young person attending. The way this would work would be refunding the ticket cost for any young person who made a legitimate purchase and shows up on the night. Of course that means that those who purchased tickets illegitimately would not receive refunds.”
By this method, the kids get in for free and bigots LOSE THEIR MONEY. In fact, they’re actually subsidizing their purchased ticket for an LGBTI teen that can’t afford to attend.
Well didn’t that work out nicely.
Ren Maverick Grayson is a Youth and Mental Health worker for Minus18 and spoke with TheVine.com.au about why the hateful campaign against the formal has failed.
“It is just horrible to see misguided adults be bullies and trying to take away a momentous opportunity for one of the most vulnerable groups of young people. I am not going to focus on that because it is not worth our time. It has just been so good to see older people in the community supporting our young people and showing them positive news and not focusing on the negative,” said Grayson, adding “Often these young people have been told and shown too much negativity in general society in many different ways.”
The crowdfunding campaign currently stands at over $35,000 dollars, so looks like the formal will go ahead and perhaps grow in numbers even further. As Scott added that the large venue means they can just increase capacity if tickets sell out. Meaning even more LGBTI teens can come along.
“We try not to have a capacity,” he said. “We have quite a large venue – if we sell out, we’ll just put up more tickets and open up more parts of the venue.”
Take that, haters.
“The formal is so important because it gives LGBTIQA young people a very important opportunity that is often taken for granted in general hetero/cisgendered normative society, to be their true selves, dress how they want, go with who they want, feel good, comfortable, confident and most importantly safe!” said Grayson.
“I just hope the night brings our beautiful young people a chance to just be themselves and feel good and encouraged to do so! Also a much needed and well deserved fun time filled with support, friendship, confidence, safety and fabulousness. Oh and glitter.”
Header image via Chuffed.org/Minus18